After the convincing win in the first match at Napier, the Indian team led by Virat Kohli appears to be overwhelming favourites to go ahead and clinch the series against New Zealand. However, despite the blip in the first ODI, the hosts cannot be taken lightly as their record in home conditions has been exemplary in the recent past.
Also, there are concerns with the Indian batting in New Zealand which should be factored in. Rohit Sharma, who looked iffy in the first match, does not have very good numbers against the Kiwis and this could be a real problem for Kohli and company.
The right-hander has played 19 ODI against New Zealand but has managed to score only 544 runs at an average of 34.00 which is his second worst (minimum 15 matches). Also, his strike rate reads 78 which is the worst against any opponent.
Worry with Rohit on NZ soil
Against the seam and swing in New Zealand conditions, Rohit has found if tough going and in 10 ODIs, he has managed only 279 runs at an average of 34.87. This is Rohit's fourth-lowest average against all the countries. However, he has shown that he gets back to his prolific best after a slowish start and the Indian management would hope he finds his form in the second ODI.
The surface and the ground in Mount Maunganui is such that the scores are on the higher side and there is little escape for the bowlers. The average first innings score at the venue over the 7 completed ODIs is 265 and the last time an ODI match was played on the ground, New Zealand racked up 371/7 against Sri Lanka.
India will be playing at this venue for the very first time and this will also be Bhuvneshwar Kumar's 100th ODI appearance. The team batting first has generally won as they have clinched victory in 4 out of the 7 matches played.
There is a chance for Virat Kohli to script history in the second ODI as no Indian captain has managed to score a century on New Zealand soil and considering Kohli's form, one would not put it past him to buck that trend. His batting average is 84.31 which is the best by any skipper to have scored a minimum of 1000 runs, which is great news for India.
Ravindra Jadeja, who has been steady in ODIs in the recent past, needs just 10 runs to complete 2000 runs in the format. Whenever he gets those runs, he will become the 26th all-rounder to achieve the double of 2,000 ODI runs and 150 wickets. His impending feat will make him only the third Indian after Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar to achieve this record.